Writing about this game is making me realize how behind I really am – I’m writing about SoulCalibur II, a game that I just bought last month, while gamers have been enjoying SoulCalibur V since January of last year! The third game in the “Soul” series of fighting games, SoulCalibur II was released on the Gamecube, Xbox, and Playstation 2 in 2003, so it’s almost a decade-old already.
Aside from being the closest fighting game to Tekken to ever appear on the Gamecube, what drew me to SoulCalibur II was the console-exclusive characters. Yes, you had a different, exclusive character depending on which console your SoulCalibur II version was for!
Playstation 2 owners had Tekken’s Heihachi in their SoulCalibur II copy, Xbox owners had Spawn from Image Comics, and Gamecube Owners had Nintendo’s very own Link from the Legend of Zelda games.
I’m not a fan of fighting games in general, but any video game collector MUST have some sort of fighting game title in his collection, and out of those available for the Gamecube, SoulCalibur II is one of the best traditional 3D fighting games available (note: Super Smash Bros. Melee is the best fighting game on the Gamecube, but it doesn’t follow traditional fighting game rules).
Even if SoulCalibur II is considered to be one of the best fighting games available on the Gamecube and even one of the top 25 Gamecube games overall, I normally wouldn’t think of owning a copy. Well, there are several reasons why I added this title to my library, the first of which is the inclusion of Link. It’s Link! Definitely one of the most popular video game characters of all time, Link is the only character to win the “Great GameFAQs Character Battle” twice, winning against fellow Nintendo character Mario in 2002 and against Cloud Strife of Final Fantasy VII in 2004. He also won the GameFAQs Champions bracket in 2005, again beating 2003 champion Cloud Strife in the first round and Spring 2005 Champion Sephiroth in the final round (take that, Square Enix). I like the Legend of Zelda games and I couldn’t pass up the novelty of playing Link outside of Nintendo.
But I didn’t get this game just because of Link’s guest appearance. SoulCalibur II has a lot of unlockable content, ranging from:
- Hidden characters like Seung Mina, Sophitia, and Yoshimitsu of Tekken fame
- New game modes like Extra Arcade mode, Extra Survival mode, Extra Team Battle mode, where you can use weapons obtained/purchased from the Weapon Master quests
- Gallery content such as Character Profiles, Character Ending movies, and the Weapons Demonstrations
- Different kinds of weapons for purchase in Weapon Master
I love unlockable content in games. For me, they make a video game highly replayable because there’s visible progress each time you play – you get a reward each time you achieve something, and you can always aim to unlock as much as you can.
Despite being quite outdated, I think I’m going to be investing some time on this game. It’s the only true 3D fighting game in my collection, and there’s still a lot of content for me to unlock before I can consider this as “finished”.